ISLAMABAD - As the countdown begins for Local Bodies re-poll at 365 polling stations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf MPAs prefer to support the PML-N and JUI-F candidates for securing victory of their close relatives.

Re-polling for over 365 polling stations in the province would be held on July 30 after the Election Commission of Pakistan ordered re-poll on hundreds of union councils where grievous charges of irregularities and rigging were levelled during Local Bodies elections.

But interestingly, the political alliances that existed during May 30 LB polls have changed within two months as the PTI MPAs prefer to support the candidates fielded by the PML-N.

The PTI lawmakers who fielded their close relatives, are now worried of their candidates to an extent that they abandoned the aspirants PTI had given tickets during May 30 polls.

KP CM’s Adviser MPA Malik Qasim Khan has started open campaign for PML-N’s district councillor candidate Musa Raza in Karak district, leaving PTI candidate Major (Retd) Sajjad Khan high and dry for the upcoming re-polling on July 30.

According to voters, MPA Qasim Khan’s son is taking part in the polls for which he badly needed support of the PML-N’s vote bank in the union council. “MPA Qasim Khan fully supports the PML-N candidate. I’ll lodge protest with the party leadership soon after the election is over,” Major Sajjad told this reporter.

Similarly, another PTI MPA Gul Sahib Khan campaigns for the JUI-F candidate after his party denied ticket to his brother Umar Daraz. Irritated over the party’s decision, Khan opted to support the JUI-F candidates during the re-poll exercise.

A number of the PTI lawmakers told The Nation that their MPAs were furious over the ticket awarding committee constituted by chairman Imran Khan ahead of LB polls in KP on May 30.

“In Peshawar where maximum union councils would witness re-election, the PTI MPAs have withdrawn support from the party’s candidates only because the party workers were ignored during ticket-awarding process,” a lawmaker said. He added the PTI will suffer loss and could not clinch seats again it had won during May 30 polls.

Although the ruling PTI clinched maximum seats during May 30 LB polls, yet it lost to its rival parties in central districts of KP, including Peshawar where the ANP, JUI-F and PPP managed to regain seats despite their crushing defeat during general elections in 2013.

The ECP ordered re-poll in 365 constituencies after the commission was flooded with petitions, accusing the KP government and its ministers of rigging the May 30 polls by using state resources and intimidating rival candidates with the help of police.

A petitioner Javed Khattak had unveiled the rigging plan of CM Pervez Khattak by stating that the provincial executive utilised state resources only to ensure victory for his brother who was candidate for district seat in Manki Sharif of Nowshera, hometown of CM Khattak.

The irregularities witnessed during May 30 polls included a KP minister Ali Amin Gandapur snatched a ballot boxes from polling stations during broad daylight in presence of police.